crime

DNA at Niigata murder scene links suspect to 2 other homicides

24 Comments

Niigata prefectural police say that the suspect in the murder of a woman in Shibata, Niigata Prefecture, has been linked by DNA to two other murder cases.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Shogo Kina, 31, was arrested on July 31 for kidnapping and killing a 22-year-old woman last November. TV Asahi quoted police as saying that DNA samples extracted from the spots where two other murdered women were found match that of Kina.

Kina has denied involvement in the murder last November and told police he doesn't remember anything about that case.

Police said DNA found at that crime scene matched DNA samples taken from the bodies of two other young women murdered in Shibata last September and in April this year.

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24 Comments
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I know this sounds stupid, but the evidence should out way his memory. I know he has not confessed due to memory loss but it would seem his DNA has been found at not 1 but 3 murders. This is called evidence, rather than a confession. Might be too much for the prosecutors and police. It's not how it works?

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Standard Japanese version of escaping sentence ... (( Kina has denied involvement in the murder last November and told police he doesn’t remember anything about that case.))

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Out weigh?

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I would that japan ha a serial killer in custady and should check into any unsalved murders for at least the past 10 years the have the same MO

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They will have him confess. Give them time.

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A case where DNA memory wins over the memory of the mind.

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Timtak - who cares if he confesses? Are you his priest? They have DNA evidence, and a bit more digging should produce other evidence putting him in the area of those crimes.

It is ironic that so much trust is placed on the words of criminals, who are by definition untrustworthy, such as confessions; while placing so little trust in the words of victims, scientists and doctors.

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Japan and DNA again. And lets not forget about the Osaka police and what they did to try and "look good".

In my world this one case would put the perp away for life anyway.

while placing so little trust in the words of victims, scientists and doctors.

@Frungy Are you trying for comedy? You pointedly skip over talking about the word of the police and you seem to be unaware that the victims are not giving anybody any words these days.

Scientists and doctors are a mixed bag, especially when they work for the police. And you accused TimTak of trusting criminals when in fact the man is still only a suspect!

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;-) out weigh....cheers

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Doesn't remember anything? or doesn't know anything.... I hope that's a bad translation..... remember would imply knowledge of the event but no details.... I'm really not trusting the police in their efforts it seems all they want to do is close cases and not report crimes (ala Osaka police).

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Crush them - Timtak wants a confession in true Japanese style. The reliance on confessions and disdain for evidence is a HUGE party of what is wrong with the Japanese legal system.

Well done for missing the point.

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DNA = GUILTY why waste time he killed once so killing again and again proves he is guilty without the DNA hang the clown along with his sad story of not knowing anything!

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He doesn't remember anything? Well everything is OK then.

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Well done for missing the point.

@Frungy If there is some ongoing thing between you and Timtak, don't take me to task for not being aware. No way I could figure that out with just his post and your reply.

I read TimTak's short post as meaning that a confession will be forced out of him, whether he is guilty or not. I read your post as meaning that confessions are just plain useless.

The reliance on confessions and disdain for evidence is a HUGE party of what is wrong with the Japanese legal system.

You did not say that until just now as far as I know.

I don't have a problem with confessions per se as you seem to with that priest crack. With confessions often come details that lead to physical evidence. Or at least, could and should, but I have no idea if the Japanese police are generally doing that or just relying on the confessions.

I have heard that Japanese police over-rely on confessions, but I don't really know if its because they don't bother to search for evidence or are simply incapable (read incompetent). I think it is said the courts also over-rely on confessions. I also hear the Japanese police force confessions out of the innocent.

But I do have to say that my experience with Japanese police suggest they are illogical to the core, as are many of the systems they work with. Nobody has said anything more nutty to me than Japanese police, excepting some of those trying to sell Jesus to me.

Anyway, do I trust confessions 100 percent? No. Do I trust DNA evidence 100 percent? No. And I have good reasons to be suspicious of both.

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Basing crime solving on DNA, good. Forcing confessions, bad.

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Too much faith in DNA in this thread. You guys totally forgot about Toshikazu Sugaya who was in jail for nearly two decades. They supposedly found his DNA on the underwear of a murdered little girl. Turns out it wasn't his. And lets not forget that he was forced to confess.

DNA and confessions and other evidence all have their strengths and weaknesses. If you don't have a patchwork of evidence, you got nothing.

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With this guy the one thing they do have is a patchwork of evidence. The DNA is just the cherry on the cake. A confession if it comes will be the cream on the cherry.

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DNA = GUILTY why waste time he killed once so killing again and again proves he is guilty without the DNA hang the clown along with his sad story of not knowing anything!

he could have just had consensual sex with the 3 women just before they were murdered....

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I wrote about how ironic it was that the police and judges are prepared to trust the confession of a criminal

@Frungy And BOOM! You did it again. A suspect is not yet a known criminal.

I wrote about how ironic it was that the police and judges are prepared to trust the confession of a criminal over hard evidence from doctors and scientists

But you did not specifically say police and judges, and you know, police and judges are not a unified group. Some times police and judges take the word of other police. I cannot be blamed for your lack of clarity.

I was rude with my "are you trying for comedy" comment. I apologize for that. But you can stop being so defensive and accusatory now.

So you think that forced confessions HAVE some value?

Of course not. And there again, you did not write "forced" confession.

Plus, I took Timtak's comment to be sarcasm. You took it at face value and I did not realize.

you really should have kept out of it.

I am free to comment as far as I have been allowed. Mistakes will happen, if indeed I am the one who is mistaken here. Only Timtak can tell us for sure.

But do you really think he wants and approves of forced confessions? I should think that, at best, he may not care specifically in this case because he is sure the guy is guilty anyway and the forced confession will just make it a snap to put him away.

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Crush ThemAug. 05, 2014 - 03:07PM JST

I wrote about how ironic it was that the police and judges are prepared to trust the confession of a criminal

@Frungy And BOOM! You did it again. A suspect is not yet a known criminal.

In Japan once you confess you are convicted. Confession = case closed. This is the reality. Also Japan has a "guilty until proven innocent" legal system (I'm not kidding, look it up), so a suspect is technically guilty.

I was commenting on the paradox inherent in that legal philosophy, that the courts are willing to accept a confession from a criminal on face-value, without any supporting evidence. This is a person who has proven themselves to be incapable of following the laws of society, but somehow in the opinion of judges and the police they're completely trustworthy when it comes to confessions.

But if you tell them you didn't do it... then you're completely untrustworthy.

But you did not specifically say police and judges, and you know, police and judges are not a unified group. Some times police and judges take the word of other police. I cannot be blamed for your lack of clarity.

Who else takes confessions? Apart from priests that is. Oh, and in Japan the police, prosecutors and judges definitely are a unified group. Here's a little experiment for you. Walk into a Japanese police station and confess to a crime, you could make it a small one, like speeding. Then wait and see if they question your confession. They won't.

I was rude with my "are you trying for comedy" comment. I apologize for that. But you can stop being so defensive and accusatory now.

I'm not being defensive, I'm pointing out that you mistook my comment, you're mistaken about a great many things and are attacking in such an aggressive fashion from a position of ignorance on how the Japanese legal system works.

Your apology for rudeness is accepted though, and I do thank you for it.

Of course not. And there again, you did not write "forced" confession.

The confession doesn't have to be forced. There are plenty of reasons that someone might confess in Japan, for example they may do it automatically in the (not entirely incorrect) belief that once charges are filed they're going to be sentenced and the best way to get the lightest possible sentence is to fake remorse, fake a confession and make the best of a bad situation. Japan operates on a "guilty until proven innocent" system, which means that you're responsible for proving your innocence. In cases where there is no evidence the prosecutor just has to show up and say, "He has no evidence he's innocent, therefore he is guilty", and it is case closed and everyone can go home early... except the person accused, who gets to go to prison.

Plus, I took Timtak's comment to be sarcasm. You took it at face value and I did not realize.

Even if Timtak's comment was sarcastic it would still have highlighted the paradox in Japanese judicial thinking that I was commenting on. Also it isn't a joking matter in Japan given how seriously confessions are taken.

I am free to comment as far as I have been allowed. Mistakes will happen, if indeed I am the one who is mistaken here. Only Timtak can tell us for sure.

Even if Timtak was being sarcastic your attack on my observations about the paradox in Japanese legal thinking (i.e. innocent people are liars, confessed criminals are trustworthy) is still valid, and your attack on my comment is invalid.

No matter which way you cut this you are mistaken.

But do you really think he wants and approves of forced confessions? I should think that, at best, he may not care specifically in this case because he is sure the guy is guilty anyway and the forced confession will just make it a snap to put him away.

I don't know, I'm not a mind-reader. All I have to go on was what he wrote, which was:

timtakAug. 05, 2014 - 09:11AM JST They will have him confess. Give them time.

Timtak's post spoke to the undue weight given to confessions. I commented on how that was inappropriate in a case where there is "hard" DNA evidence (as opposed to "soft" evidence like testimonies, confessions, etc. where people can be mistaken, coerced, misled, etc.).

You made a point about too much reliance on a single source of evidence (DNA), but you completely missed part of my comment, "and a bit more digging should produce other evidence putting him in the area of those crimes.".

I'm thoroughly in favor of a "patchwork of evidence", but it should be HARD evidence, not soft evidence. In rape cases the rate of incorrect identification is higher than 25%. Other testimony based forms of evidence show similarly high rates of errors, and it has been suggested that verbal and non-verbal cues from misguided police officers trying to make a conviction are a big part of this error rate. The real rates are probably much higher, because convictions are only overturned when hard evidence can be found.

There was a case on JT a couple of months ago where a teacher was convicted of groping on a train, and it turned out that the girl was mistaken about who did the groping. His life was ruined, his career was ruined, and it emerged that the prosecution had video evidence proving his innocence the whole time.

This isn't a joking matter. I've never been accused of a crime, and I hope you never are either, but I sincerely hope that the Japanese police force makes a shift towards relying more on hard evidence, or neither you nor I stand a chance if we're falsely accused.

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"Kina has denied involvement in the murder last November and told police he doesn’t remember anything about that case."

Heck, if I murdered someone, I wouldn't remember anything about it either, lol, so this guy has killed three women, is he going to swing or rot in jail for the rest of his life?

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A Japanese serial killer, sounds interesting.

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Plus, I took Timtak's comment to be sarcasm. You took it at face value and I did not realize.

My comment was without sarcasm. I approve of Japanese policing and its methods which I feel is partly to thank for the wonderful lack of crime in Japanese society. No justice system is perfect but I doubt that many innocents are forced to confess. I think that this suspect will be encouraged to confess if he is guilty. I believe that there is more to confession than proof of guilt. I think it very likely that confession is likely to reduce recidivism (still at 43% in Japan) and helps victims and or their families to move on. Confession may also act as a deterrent. I do not believe that the Japanese police devalue hard evidence.

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His DNA was found linking him to the crime; is that not enough to find him guilty? IF he continues to deny his involvement, do the police let him go? Is the Japanese justice system effective? I admit that I am a bit astonished by the amount of serious crime in Japan, and I come from the US!

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